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A plan to release over 750 million genetically modified mosquitos into the Florida Keys in 2021 and 2022 has received final approval from local authorities, as well as state and federal approval, despite the objection from many local residents and a coalition of environmental advocacy groups.
In the video “750 Million Genetically Engineered Mosquitoes To Drive Away Diseases from Florida, SciTech Update“, below:
The mosquito, named OX5034, has been altered to produce female offspring that would die in the larval stage, well before hatching and growing large enough to bite and spread disease. Only the female mosquito bites for blood, which she needs to mature her eggs. Males only feed on nectar and are not carrier for disease. OX513A had been field tested in the Caymen Islands, Panama, and Brazil, with Oxitec reporting a large success rate with each release. For example, a trial in an urban area of Brazil reduced the Aedes aegypti by 95%.
In a bid to outsmart nature, 750 million non-biting male genetically modified mosquitoes are to be released in Florida in the hopes of replacing the disease-bearing population of natural mosquitoes. RT America’s John Huddy has the details. Then biologist and wildlife expert Dr. Reese Halter weighs in, in the video “750 million genetically modified mosquitoes released in Florida“, below:
Investigation of whether genetically modified mosquitoes created in labs can be the new hope in the fight against malaria, Zika, and dengue, in the video “Can genetically-modified mosquitoes help eradicate malaria? TechKnow“, below:
How genetically engineered mosquitoes might defeat a disease that kills millions of children, in the video “The bold plan to end malaria with a gene drive“, below:
Dr Helen Wallace of GeneWatch UK details the very serious concerns arising from the releases of genetically modified (GM) mosquitoes around the world, ranging from the risks posed to local populations and the environment to the lack of risk assessment and flouting international and local regulations. Dr. Wallace does not want a repeat of Oxitec’s mistakes in Africa, where biosafety capacity is either non-existent or sorely lacking and where there is lack of fully informed consent for the planned experiments and poor compliance with regulatory requirements and lack of transparency and public consultation. She is calling a halt to these releases and demand consultative processes that are open, transparent, and inclusive, as well as discussions about long term sustainable alternatives to address malaria in the video “Oxitec’s failed GM mosquito releases: Forewarnings for Africa and the Target Maria Project“, below:
Once the Florida Keys residents became aware of the plan of releasing over 750 million genetically modified mosquitos into the Florida Keys, public backlash was swift. More than 100,000 people soon signed a Change.org petition against the plan and that number had grown to more than 242,000 today. The EPA permit requires Oxitec to notify state officials 72 hours before releasing the mosquitoes and conduct ongoing tests for at least 10 weeks to ensure none of the female mosquitoes reach adulthood.
As the public debates continue, there is a risk that the politics of genetically modified crops could spill over to the mosquito issue. Anti-GMO groups (over 160 organizations) such as Friends of the Earth have already called for a moratorium on gene drive research. They fear it will be missed by agribusiness and militaries and cause unintended damage to ecosystems. But it is also true that some of mankind’s greatest achievements such as getting rid of small pox, penicillin, insulin for diabetics, mass vaccinations, involve messing with nature and either repurposing or tweaking things that nature created, for our own uses. So the optimal way to handle this controversial issue is to : be sure to ensure biosafety capacity, fully informed consent for the planned experiments, compliance with regulatory requirements, transparency and public consultation.
Gathered, written, and posted by Windermere Sun-Susan Sun Nunamaker More about the community at www.WindermereSun.com
I am a mother/wife/daughter, math professor, solar advocate, world traveler, yogi, artist, photographer, sharer of knowledge/information, and resident of Windermere, FL. I've worked professionally in applied math, engineering, medical research, and as a university math professor in IL and FL for about 20 years. My husband and I loved Disney and moved down to Central Florida initially as snowbirds. But we've come to love the warmth and friendly people offered by this community and decided to move down to Windermere, FL full time in 2006. I am now spending time sharing information/ knowledge online, promoting understanding of math and solar energy (via http://www.sunisthefuture.net ), and developing Windermere Sun (http://www.WindermereSun.com) as an online publication, sharing and promoting Community ABC's (Activities-Businesses-Collaborations) for healthier/happier/more sustainable living. In the following posts, I'll be sharing with you some of the reasons why Windermere has attracted us to become full-time residents of Central Florida region. Please feel free to leave your comments via email at "Contact Us" in the topbar above or via [email protected]
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Windermere Sun-Susan Sun Nunamaker
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email: [email protected]